There is a motoring revolution underway: the fast accelerating switch from petrol and diesel cars, to electric vehicles. In Norway, almost 40% of new car purchases are now fully electric or hybrids. Other countries are starting to catch up, and are setting ambitious targets. Britain wants to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars by 2040. Motor manufacturers are investing vast sums in new electric models. Those who don't, risk being left behind. And yet, as Peter Morgan reports, obstacles remain. Many drivers feel "range anxiety", the fear that the car battery will run out before they can recharge. And electric cars are not cheap to buy. But costs are coming down fast, batteries will soon last for hundreds of miles, and charge-points are being installed in more and more places. So much so, that there's a new land grab going on for market share. Start-ups are getting in on the act, and even big oil companies like Shell are branching into this business. Nevertheless, where will all the extra electricity come from? Will there be standardisation of the charging infrastructure, so drivers don't end up frustrated at a charge-point where their plug doesn't fit? And while electric cars don't emit toxic fumes like nitrogen oxides, how much difference do they actually make to particulates in the air?
Producer: Arlene Gregorius
Photo: Go Ultra Low Electric Vehicle
Credit: Miles Willis / Stringer
President Vladimir Putin has gifted Moscow with a new park – a free public space right next to the Kremlin. Designed by the US architects behind New York’s High Line, Zarydaye Park is a bold step in city branding, aiming to demonstrate that Moscow is open to the world and to innovation. But does it break new ground for large-scale development projects in 21st century Russia? For Global Business, Lucy Ash explores some of the prizes and pitfalls of this notoriously bumpy terrain.
Boris Bernaskoni, architect, Bernaskoni Bureau
Galina Gordushina, Head of Engineering, Mosinzhproekt
Sergei Kuznetsov, Chief Architect of Moscow
Michal Murawski, anthropologist, Queen Mary University
Anton Pominov, Director, Transparency International Russia
Charles Renfro, architect, Diller Scofidio + Renfro Saskia
Sassen, sociologist, Columbia University
Producer: Dorothy Feaver
Photo: Zaryadye Park
Credit: Iwan Baan
What Keeps the Chancellor Awake at Night?
If you're the Chancellor of the Exchequer, worrying about where the next financial crisis might come from, what keeps you awake at night? Jonty Bloom hears about the potential problems which might induce insomnia; including car loans, High Frequency Trading and the threat of Cyber attack.
Producer: Phoebe Keane
Diversifying Russia's economy
Oil and gas are the backbone of Russia’s economy and swings in energy prices can push the country from boom to bust. 80 per cent of the country's exports are directly related to hydro-carbons. So how successfully is Russia diversifying into new areas? As Caroline Bayley discovers, government money is supporting hi-tech start-ups and counter sanctions imposed by the government on food imports from the US and EU are helping the food sector. However, doing business in Russia is far from straightforward.
Producer: Kate Lamble
American jobs: The ties that bind
Why are so many US workers forced into job contracts that make it hard for them to leave? Employers routinely ask new recruits to agree to "non-compete" clauses when they start work. This means they might be unable to work for a competitor company, or to set up on their own. Is this a good way to protect intellectual property or an unnecessary infringement of workers' rights? Claire Bolderson goes to Massachusetts to explore the personal and economic impact of the legislation and asks if reform might, finally, be a possibility.
Producer: Rosamund Jones
Photo: Claire Bolderson in Boston, Massachusetts